For the last 65 years United Way of Greater New Bedford has been a leading institution on the Southcoast. UWGNB is one of over 1,2000 independent, self-governing United Way organizations throughout the United States and is overseen by a local Board of Directors.
UWGNB proudly serves residents throughout the Southcoast, with a primary focus on resident from the cities and towns of Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Rochester, and Wareham. UWGNB holds various roles in the community.
In addition to funding local programs, UWGNB provides direct services and convenes partner organizations to target key community issues.
UWGNB funds organizations through various grant funding opportunities, including:
- Community Impact Grants: operational support for existing, high quality programs and services
- Innovation Fund: project support for new, innovative programs and services
- Emerging Needs: support for emergent programs and projects that fall outside of the traditional funding streams
- Summer Fund: pooled funding from private foundations and funders that provides youth employment opportunities and camperships over the summer
- Mini-Grants: small dollars grants to all-volunteer community groups across the regions
UWGNB also manages and provides services through its own programs, including:
- Family Resource Center: services for families with children under the age of 18, including case management, parenting classes, and therapeutic interventions
- Safe and Successful Youth Initiative: an interagency strategy for reducing youth violence focusing on young men ages 17 -24 identified by law enforcement as “proven risk” individuals for being perpetrators or victims of gang violence
- Shannon: programs led by outreach workers in schools to redirect at-risk youth on to the right life path
- Youth Venture: social entrepreneurship program for middle schoolers at Roosevelt Middle School
- Hunger Commission: a food rescue program that delivers donated food from local companies and grocery stores to soup kitchens and food pantries. Also serves as the sole distributor of fresh, organic produce and eggs from the YMCA Sharing the Harvest Community Farm.
- Mobile Market: a summer program that provides free, fresh produce to low-income, working families
UWGNB convenes partners through various initiatives, including:
- South End Engaged: UWGNB is the convener and funder of SEE, which is focused on improving the quality of life for residents of the South End of New Bedford
- New Bedford Community Connections Coalition: an initiative focused on facilitating collaborative strategies that work to prevent child abuse and neglect, strengthen families, and build healthier communities
UWGNB also partners with FamilyWize to provide free access to discounts on prescription drugs and Mass 2-1-1, an information and referral line that provides free-confidential information to people seeking support services. UWGNB administers Volunteer SouthCoast (volunteersouthcoast.org), a volunteer matching service that connects people interested in volunteering with projects at local non-profits.
Through strategic planning, UWGNB has reshaped a vision statement, mission statement, and set of values to convey what the organization hopes to achieve in the region and how UWGNB hopes to achieve it. These should guide the focus of UWGNB’s work and its strategies.
Vision statement: “We envision a region where all people have access to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.”
Mission statement: “We mobilize people, partnerships, and resources to catalyze change that strengthens the communities we serve.”
UWGNB’s values are the following:
- Impact-driven: We work strategically to strengthen the region by responding to community needs and evaluating the programs we run and support to ensure we have impact.
- Integrity: We conduct our work as a funder, convener, and direct service provider openly, honestly, and fairly.
- Compassion: We conduct our work with great care and empathy towards those we are serving.
- Inclusive: We value the perspectives of people from different backgrounds, experiences, races, ethnicities, and cultures.
- Collaboration: We work together with organizations and individuals from across the region to ensure we have the greatest impact.
- Innovation: We create transformative approaches as a fundraiser, funder, convener, partner, and service provider that enable us to be increasingly effective and efficient.
- Leadership: We serve as a partner on important issues and aim to aspire others to become more involved to create a stronger region.